Global Solar and Wind Energy Addition Was The Same in 2017 and 2018

World renewable energy additions were the same from 2017 and 2018.

Renewable Energy capacity additions need to grow by over 300 GW on average each year between 2018 and 2030 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS). Both 2017 and 2018 saw 180 GW of global renewable energy added.

China added 44 GW of solar PV in 2018, compared with 53 GW in 2017.

But the IEA’s analysis shows the world is not doing enough. Last year, energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% to a historic high of 33 Gigatonnes.

42 thoughts on “Global Solar and Wind Energy Addition Was The Same in 2017 and 2018”

  1. Better dogshit energy than if everything doesn’t go exactly right I will meltdown and pollute 10,000 sq miles. Nukes are expensive. They are inherently unsafe. They are too expensive to be used as peakers so you going to need something else for that.

    It is a competition and the nukes have to get safer and cheaper to just place, not even win.

    You see if you are right then you don’t have to worry nukes will eventually win.

  2. The German situation is temporary. It was caused by the speed that they implemented the no nukes option. It will resolved its self in a decade or two. The nuke problem is also solvable. It is a basic engineering problem. All they have to do is stop building PWR and start building LTFR. But until they get the hint, countries will just build more and more renewable.

  3. $500-$1000 is NOT pricey. The parking spot, itself, costs $20,000 in lots of towns, and ten times as much (or more) in the higher-priced cities. Have a quick google. A thousand dollars is often a so-what might-as-well expense. Of course, a level 3 charger might be more expensive than a minimal one.

  4. Uh, demand isn’t growing. At least it most definitely isn’t in the US. The switch to LED lighting made quite a dent.

  5. Once you’ve got a charger installed, and wired to the grid, the payment system is pretty well included. There are service providers (like “Chargepoint”) that operate chargers for the property owner. The fee structure is whatever the owner chooses – at my last place of employment, the cost to me was set to zero. But I still had to carry a sort of credit card. Lately, some chargers learn the car’s ID over the power cable when you plug your car in.

  6. Unless you are Norway and 100% of their electricity generated is hydro. It’s all about water flow capacity availability. And of course money. Most countries don’t have both. China is by far the biggest in hydro and it’s part of their base load. But don’t count on hydro growing much, all the low hanging fruit has been done.

  7. Because most of hydro is already built out. Places nearby civilization where you can build dams have been built. Remember, these are global numbers. China accounts for more than half of installed added capacity and they’ve pretty much dammed up everything. The only remaining place are large parts of Africa. But expensive and problems with water rights across countries.

  8. Chargers in public carparks (shopping etc) are even worse than employee parking.
    because once you get beyond the token level you need a payment system on each location.

  9. Molten salt batteries would be more plausible with molten salt reactors, heating the storage salt directly every night, than with solar, which goes down for a month or so every winter, or wind, which can randomly go down for a week. Crescent Dunes needs gas for preheat each morning.
    A one GW reactor operating at 600C 24/7 could heat salt five hours a night, and reliably deliver two GW or more at peak load. Five gigawatt of solar, heating salt, (allowing for losses) would still not guarantee the same in winter. The Allam cycle you posit for backup is also still early in its development, and would need an entire new pipeline network on a par with the existing gas one to get rid of its emissions, plus drilling, on a par with the fracking effort, to shove them underground.
    Modular low pressure reactors have the potential to radically lower nuclear costs. With containments about a tenth the size for the same output, and factory manufacture, they should be able to avoid the delays that crippled recent LWR builds in the west. Even without MSRs, nuclear has shown that it can supply the majority of the power in a number of countries, at comparible cost to fossil fuels. It has also demonstrated, with hydro, a reduction of CO2 emissions by 90% on timescales of about twenty years, using pressurised water reactors in France and Switzerland, heavy water reactors in Ontario, boiling water reactors and PWRs in Sweden. No renewable program anywhere has done nearly as well.

  10. Chargers at:

    • work
    • grocery stores
    • strip malls
    • parking structures

    Sure here in CA we have token charging spots at each of these places but 99% of the parking spots are not wired. How much for a charging station for a parking spot? $500-1000? Pricey.

    Home is the best place to charge. Charger is basically guaranteed to be available and used 8 hours a day. For much of the world home charging will mean night charging.

  11. Yes but you have to ignore the most important factor to get to the conclusion that nuclear would be the better choice – cost.

    Even using only renewable methane at $12 per mmbtu (around 8 cents per kWh fuel cost, 1 cent per kWh capital price year new, actual zero as their is plenty already built) and burning it year round as baseload in gas turbines it is cheaper than nuclear. If you’re basically only doing it for like 13% of your total energy (dark and windless days), yeah capital cost for new ones is 7x that due to the very low capacity factor (1×7=7 cents capital but once again already built so really close to zero, 8 cents fuel), so for 1.5 months of the year a brand new renewable gas peaker is slightly more expensive than year round nuclear in the USA (13 cents per kWh).

    Once you start considering Allam cycle plants (same capital cost as a combined cycle gas plant with carbon capture- effectively the capture costs as much as the methane delivery, so about doubles the $3 per mmbtu price to about $6 per mmbtu, or adds about 2 cents per kWh) for baseload it gets so much worse for nuclear. You can even gasify coal into methane in that scenario.

    And wind and solar keep getting cheaper.

    EDIT: And actually once you finish building out your CO2 pipeline infrastructure, the price for moving CO2 becomes less than methane due to its higher molar density. I’m equaling it out because it would take 30 years of pipeline buildout to get to that point.

  12. A world price on GHG is needed to act as an incentive to get serious inroads, true.

    Otherwise just based on economics fossil fuel use is going to be about 40% of the electricity generated by wind and solar on large grids.

    So a rough eventual breakout for the USA becomes 20% nuclear, 8% hydro/biomass/geothermal, 50% wind+solar, 20% fossil fuel is as good as it will possibly get. And it basically stalls there due to economics.

    A world price of like $20 per CO2 tonne equivalent would at least make that 20% fossil not be coal, and would stop a lot of non-CO2 GHG emissions like methane.

    A world price of like $100 per tonne gets long term thermal storage using molten salt batteries cost effective to use (thermal loss of like 2% per day, good for weeks). For example Malta

    But even $100 is like 3.3 cents per kWh based on high efficiency natural gas plants being the marginal competition. That isn’t a good enough incentive to build nuclear in the USA and Europe, or stop vehicle diesel and gasoline usage in a world where the oil price is actually weak/dropping due to EV competition. It would be a good enough incentive for Allam cycle fossil fuel plants with carbon capture, though.

    I don’t see the world ever getting to $100, though.

  13. That’s a very good point – South Australia kind of needs to be lumped together with Victoria as it is very interconnected with by a pair of long distance high voltage lines (600MW and 220MW). Enough to provide almost half of South Australia’s entire demand if they maxxed it out and only imported power.

  14. The South Aussie battery has enough power to theoretically run the state for maybe quarter of an hour – though cycling it right down would severely shorten the life. After that, back to coal and gas. And 55% fossil power is nowhere near good enough to stave off climate change. Ontario, Sweden and France are ~5%, using mostly nuclear and hydro. Of course, electricity is just the easy bit.

  15. South Australia is also next door to a much larger state with heaps of coal and gas power and big power lines running over the border. So you can’t extapolate that to the USA unless you project huge Mexican power plants to rely on.

  16. If the growth in electric cars continues then new capacity will be needed.
    In theory you can do recharging during the daylight hours too, but that means even more infrastructure (your boss putting chargers in the company carpark)

  17. Germany made stupid choices. They’re a cautionary tail of pioneering costs but not at all the reality of renewables in 2019 for most of the world going forward.

  18. South Australia went to 45% renewables, and yes there were serious outages in 2016. With the $66 million Tesla battery farm not any more.

    So 45% of 12,400 GWh for $66 million in batteries.

    USA is at like 10%. So it implies we could go to 45% of 2018 demang 4,177,810 GWh at 150x that $66 million cost. $9.9 billion.

    So the USA could accomodate 150 1.2GW nuclear reactors worth of renewables production (which currently costs 1/7 of the lifetime costs of nuclear) at the cost of $10 billion worth of batteries.

  19. Wind and solar are dogshit energy, can’t be counted on, wreck the system see Australia. Wishful thinking is a problem and when it threatens energy security and affordability, it is everybody’s problem, even realists.

  20. Nope. Renewables don’t solve the growing demand and the need of energy security.

    And in many places, they start to be perceived as economically counterproductive and more damaging to the environment than other zero CO2 emissions options, like nuclear.

    For Germany, the shift to renewables has resulted in far more CO2 emissions and cost per Kw produced than in France, for example, which still relies on nuclear power for most of its power needs.

  21. You do know that 30% of US electric power comes from nuclear, hydro, and biomass, right? And that demand at night is typically around half that in the daytime? And that the #1 source of electric power in the US is natural gas (32% more than coal)?

    I see 6 more coal plants scheduled to shut down in the coming year, because natural gas, wind, and solar are all cheaper. We may keep a few coal plants around just in case, but their percentage of US electric supply is heading to the minor leagues.

  22. The growth in renewable won’t be constant over the short term. But it will be exponential over the long term. Growth will be 300G+ in five+ years.

  23. They are a step behind the US. Germany has added quite a bit of coal as they are closing their nuclear power, but the UK is using very little coal by now. The logistics of moving more and more natural gas globally is improving by the day. All in all, the trend is the same. On the same time, the next wave of long HVDC lines and storage has already kickstarted, and that will allow for even less fossil fuels in general.

  24. Just look at Germany. Twice the price for Energweinde[sp?] and they have to import power from dirty[coal] sources.

  25. For January, 38GW of nuclear would match the power output of 300GW of solar. Though since you want most of that power after sundown, the comparison flatters solar.

  26. “2. Capacity factors are getting much better ..”

    Capacity factor is the fraction of max output power that has actually been on an average. But what about variability? Is the variability of one day, week or month changed over the last decade? This is one of the major drawbacks with solar and wind power. Solar, for instance, has a 100% variability of a 24 hour cycle, since there is no sunlight at night…

  27. They will keep closing down en mass. In the near future renewables and gas for stability will replace them. That in itself will get most of the work done.

  28. You still have to keep operating the coal plants, unless you want your power customers rioting every night the wind drops.

  29. Predictions are to go from 18% growth to 25% in 2018.

    So it doesn’t look like the Paris target is going to happen.

  30. USA solar pv was flat 2017 and 2018 – about 10-11GW each year. So no longer exponential, no.

    Wind and solar used to be competing with unbuilt capacity. Now they have to compete with already built fossil power plants on a “fuel replacement” basis. The math on that is much less favorable.

  31. That’s the entire amount/fleet. So just one year of additional of going from 53.6GW to 64.2GW total nameplate watts for solar pv brought it up by 0.4%.

  32. Because more hydro is being ”reserved for topper service” instead of baseload. The economics of running capricious renewable power means that rapidly adjustable topper generation is a must-have as part of the mix. Just saying…

  33. Not in the last year or two; It seems to be penetrating markets which are less suited for it.

    The wind actually has a declining capacity factor for that reason.

    I do wonder why the capacity factor for hydro is dropping, though. No obvious reason for it.

  34. The flatness is mileading. US China and other countries are cutting their subsidies. However in many places renewables are cheaper to install by now than to continue to operating existing coal plants and the predictions are that this year on renewables delivery will start growing again. 300 GW is very possible very soon.

  35. So are we to assume that if the world needs 300GW of renewable capacity per year that say 50GW of nuclear capacity would satisfy the world’s need for CO2 free power?

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